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UDC-DCSL Opens New Criminal Law Clinic!

Thursday, June 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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The UDC David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) is pleased to announce the addition of a new clinic in criminal law.  DC Law Students in Court, now located in the UDC-DCSL building at 4340 Connecticut Avenue, will supervise advanced UDC Law students in the representation of adults accused of misdemeanors and juveniles charged with all but the most serious offenses. 

The new clinic will provide a capstone experience for the School of Law’s “Criminal Law Pathway” described at http://www.law.udc.edu/page/CriminalLawPathway/.  UDC Law Professors Andrew Ferguson, a former DC Public Defender, and Joe Tulman – our longtime Juvenile Justice and Special Education Clinic Director, will serve as faculty advisors.  The newly enhanced Criminal Law Pathway is one of eight specializations available at UDC-DCSL, which are described at http://www.law.udc.edu/page/PathwaysIntro/.

About DC Law Students in Court

Created in 1968, the D.C. Law Students in Court Program (LSIC) is the oldest and one of the most highly regarded clinical programs in the city. It is a unique consortium program with students from D.C. area law schools participating. Students in the criminal division defend the constitutional rights of adults charged with misdemeanors and juveniles charged with any offense except a few of the most serious felonies.  In addition to defending the rights of those charged with crimes, students frequently are called upon to defend the Fifth Amendment rights of witnesses in court proceedings and before a grand jury.

In the criminal division students are responsible for all aspects of client representation: they conduct fact investigation and legal research, write and argue motions, engage in pretrial discovery, try cases, negotiate plea agreements and assist clients with probation and parole revocations, where applicable.

Under the guidance and supervision of experienced trial attorneys, students become litigators while working on cases for clients to whom they are assigned.  Though a supervising attorney is directly involved in each case, the student attorney has primary responsibility -­ representing his or her client in all phases of litigation from the initial interview, fact investigation, motions, through to plea or trial, sentencing, and any post-conviction and appellate matters.

The program offers a learning environment that focuses on case preparation and courtroom experience.  Supervision and instruction are heavily geared toward litigation and the skills necessary for effective lawyering. Both classes and supervision promote reflection on what the role of a lawyer should and can be.


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